Common Sense Media says

Exciting, moving story explores racism, myth making.

Users say

(out of 74 reviews)
age 9+
Review this title!
Kid, 10 years old November 15, 2009

Grade 5 and up

I like this book. In 5th grade you read it (your teachers have to make the decision whether to let you know about african american discrimination for when you read this book in class). It is very sad at one point, i knew a few people who almost cried at that part.
What other families should know
Educational value
Adult Written bydd2400 April 9, 2008

worst book ever

worst book ever
Parent of a 10 and 11 year old Written bylitmom123 January 28, 2011

Perfect book

Could possibly be the closest thing to the perfect child's novel, ever. Jeffrey if forced to run away from the worst kind of unfeeling people this world produces and goes on the search to find a family who will love him for who he is. Jeffrey Magee is naive, loving, kind and completely without the traditional social barriers that we force on our children. His baths with the Beale children are wonderfully innocent and without need of judgement. What he suffers for the sake of the McNab children is what I want my children to see as being a good and decent human being. From his relationship with Mars Bar and the Beales, to his time spent with Greyson, right down to his dedication to the McNab children, I can't think of a better role model than Jeffrey Magee.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old November 29, 2010
it good but sad and bad
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old November 6, 2014

Unexpected, emotional, wonderful!!!

Written with amazing skill, Jerry Spinelli catches you in this book when he tells the tale of an amazing boy looking for home. Maniac Magee observes things around him, but is also caught in his own twisting, heartfelt tale. Maniac's character varies from being a friend, a hero, a maniac, a fighter, a big brother, a son that never was, and the only white who dared to enter the east of the city. You won't be bored!
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old March 17, 2014

Kind of good book

This is a pretty good book but if kids under 11 or 10 read this they have to understand racism because Maniac lives in the black side of town and he kind of is raciest. The Mcnabbs smoke and stuff so that is a little bad for a kids book. Although this book has a lot of positive messages so i would maybe consider reading this.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old October 31, 2013

A awesome book.

I read this book in my school. I think it is a great book because it shows how Maniac( Jeffrey) is a role model of telling people why black and whites could be together. It also tells what was the general idea of what was happening when there was a racial discrimination between the black and whites. I think it is a great book for every body to read.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bysarahH. August 21, 2011

violent life lessons

it is a great book about life lessons but a bit too violent. Its a good book to read, but it seemed boring at the beginning but got interesting on the way.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byno racism April 1, 2012

no racism

it is the lamest story ever they shoulnd't write storys with racism cause black children willcget offended
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 2 year old Written byNK17 March 7, 2013

I just really think it is kind of racist and druggy

most "violence" is not graphically described but the language and drugs set me off, it is OK for pre-teens but the 8-9 Yr old's should definitely read w/ parents, there are phrases like "dammit" "h^nky" "fish belly" and even one "ni--er" kids drinking and smoking is also vile and disgusting the character Jeffery (Maniac) seems like a decent character and a good role model but i really hate the McNab's and Mars Bar is a stereotype supporting blacks are always "in your face" i am from the UK and now live in Ireland and there isn't much about my race, but i have alot of black friends who would be very offended it is just amazingly uninteresting, I always never really liked Jerry Spinelly
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old September 10, 2015

Love this book

My fifth grade teacher read this book to us at the beginning of the year, that introduced me to my favorite author jerry Spinelli. This book is one of my top five favorites, though it can be a bit intense I think you will enjoy it just like I did.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bykota51412 February 6, 2012

best book for 9 and up.

i love this book i don't realy read at all but i did think this is one of the book's that keeps a kid like my self looking forward to 5 period instead of being on a phone or playing around with friends i'am a tough kid what i mean by that is dont cry to often but this book almost made me tear up greyson is like the grandpa maniac never had and his ant and uncal didint cut it for his life style he had ran away and found a town that had two sides a black and white side manic ran to the black side because he saw something he realy liked but the people on that side keep sasying what you doing here makeing him fill like a was unwelcome so he went somewere diffrent in town he met a girl she was drack skined and he thought she would want to be his freind so from there on maniac got to the point he lived with the family after he told them he didint have a home so from ther on he runs into a story of problems just like a normal life!.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old June 11, 2011

Awesome book **SPOILER**

An amazing book. Maniac is a kid living in a racist time and is the only one who doesn't understand. He regularly visits and for a good section of the book, lives in the "black" part of town. There is underage drinking, reckless behavior, racial slurs from both African Americans and Caucasians. Although the book is heartwarming, the book can be very sad, when Grayson dies, Maniac becomes depressed and eventually tries to starve himself. References to poop, roaches and other gross out stuff is abound, especially with the McNabs.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bylexa April 9, 2008
I personally found the book offensive for its crude language and disturbing imagery. In addition to the above, I thought the episode describing 11-year old Magee taking baths with the young Beale children (pg. 48), was weird and inappropriate. I also did not appreciate the comparison between "trash talk and church" (pg. 55). Overall, I thought the protagonist Magee was a morally questionable role model. Though he ran away and rejected school, there were never any consequences to these poor choices; if anything, his runaway life is glamorized and Magee is portrayed only as a hero. Conservative parents, beware! I know this book is considered a literary gem, but I didn't think it was appropriate for my child.
Kid, 12 years old November 22, 2011

Pretty Good

I read this book in class, but I would not have chosen it for myself. If you are into fantasy or Mystery you might not enjoy it as much.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCampster888 April 9, 2008

Great way of telling a story

I liked how he mentioned that Maniac did not like the dislike between blacks and whites.
Kid, 12 years old July 23, 2013

Good book, but what genre is it?

I'm not sure if it's historical fiction or not... Anyway, two swear words, Mars Bars, and assorted MILD (!) violence might concern a parent. Still, I'm most unhappy about the genre confusion.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 9 years old July 11, 2012

Great book!!!!

This book is great book but is so boring!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written bytbl September 13, 2010
My son was assigned this book for school. I enjoyed it, but believe it to be a bit much for a 9 y.o. even one in the advanced class. Just "heavy" subject matter. Although he enjoyed it, he said. It wouldn't have been one that I would have chosen for him; maybe in a couple of years.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byADRIAN SAWH January 2, 2012

Thrilling

I think manic magee is a nice childrens book and very edicational at the end the blacks and the whites were all working together.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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